Library closes all group study rooms

The decision was taken to comply with “social distancing” guidelines

Trinity’s library has taken the decision to close all group study rooms “until further notice”, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In an email sent this morning to students who held a booking for one of the rooms, Peter Dudley, the library’s Head of Reading Room Services and Space, said that the decision had been taken “to comply with HSE and WHO guidelines around social distancing”.

The emailed stated that “all active bookings” for group study rooms in the library “will be cancelled”, and in addition, the library will be “suspending the online booking system”.

The email continued: “We believe this is a prudent measure in the current circumstances. We will post updates on the Library website should the situation change.”

Yesterday, it was reported by Trinity News that the number of study spaces in Trinity’s libraries will be reduced to allow for “social distancing” in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Caoimhe Ní Lochlainn, Trinity’s Head of Library Communications, confirmed to Trinity News that the library is “looking at how best to implement the guidelines on social distancing, with the recommended 1 metre between our readers”.

She added that “this will reduce capacity in the Library and the University will be looking at alternative spaces elsewhere in the College for study”.

In an email to all staff and students on Tuesday night, Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said that “the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher (BLU) Libraries, the Hamilton Library, the John Stearne Medical Library, the Early Printed Books and Manuscript Reading Rooms are all open and operating with the usual opening hours”.

She also stated that the library would implement some measures in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Aside from social distancing these include “encouraging the use of self-service machines and book return bins” and “encouraging online renewals via My Library Account”.

On Tuesday, Trinity took the decision to move all lectures online, while some schools within College have taken the decision to cancel all in-person classes.

For departments where tutorials, seminars and labs are continuing as usual, Trinity recommends maintaining “social distancing protocols” of several feet in order to minimise the risk of close contact and infection.

The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday, with the second case, a Health Sciences student, was confirmed last night.

Hand sanitisers have been provided across campus and in off-campus locations in a bid to prevent a possible spread of infection. College has placed posters across campus with information on the virus, and has established a dedicated web page to provide updates and advice.

Trinity set up an expert working group to monitor the ongoing situation with the coronavirus in January.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.